Nacogdoches, Texas – The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Board wasted no time in getting down to business Thursday. Two months of committee work, no business meeting in May because of the Annual Membership Meeting, the legislative session, Texas Association of Regional Councils and National Associations of Regional Council meetings created a full agenda.
Chair of the Regional Housing Advisory Committee Daphne Session reported on the public meeting held on the Regional Housing Authority’s 5-Year Plan covering FY 2015 to 2019 and the following committee meeting. The board later acted on her committee’s recommendation and approved the 5-year plan, its annual plan for FYB 2015 and revisions in the Regional Housing Authority’s Section 8 Administrative Plan
Angelina County Emergency Coordinator Don Morris reported on the Regional Emergency Preparedness Taskforce. They are urging the County Judges in the DETCOG Region to not hesitate and file their flooding damage reports with the state. Even if they have to amend them later, adding to the state’s total flood damages will help the state receive federal assistance quicker. In an aside, it was also noted that the state emergency preparedness program was now being ran from the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and not the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Pam Dunn presented her advisory council’s report. She started by remarking on the success of her group’s most recent fundraising travel. While thanking all of the county judges and mayors, Dunn said the DETCOG Region’s RSVP program was a standout for having all of its twelve counties and seventeen cities adopt resolutions recognizing the value of RSVP volunteers.
Jasper County Judge Mark Allen, who chairs DETCOG’s Economic Development Committee, reported his group’s recommendation on the division of over $500,000 in unused Hurricane Ike Recovery de-obligated infrastructure funds. Those funds were re-allocated to other qualified cities and counties for infrastructure repairs and improvements within the DETCOG Region.
DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles reported on the progress of the Hurricane Ike Housing Recovery program. It is on schedule to complete over one hundred reconstructions and rehabilitations by the end of 2015. Diggles also noted that two job-creating Hurricane Ike Forgivable Loan projects have been de-obligated and now the funds will be utilized for other projects within the region. That will make nearly one-million dollars soon available for “shovel-ready” business start-ups or expansions that create jobs.
The next DETCOG Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 23, 2015. It will be held in Hemphill in Sabine County.